Pharma Mexico is Surreal

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Some of the most startling surrealist commercial art was (and is) produced for drug companies. Drugs are hard to sell on their prescriptive merits alone and governments restrict the look of much drug packaging to bland. So promotions, like these late 1940s postcards, contained surreal illustration to give the mood rather than the substance of the medications being promoted. Quite effective too.

These were done for the Mexican pharmaceutical industry, which is no different from the French or American or British. Surrealism was (and is) the drug art of choice.


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About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.View all posts by Steven Heller →